Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Sunday, February 27, 2022

One Door Closing

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” - Orson Welles

I posted my first entry on this blog on November 09, 2009. It’s amazing how much has happened since that time. This is especially true for Dieselpunk. In 2009, Dieselpunk was relatively unknown. A search on the internet would get you very few hits. However, while the pickings were slim, the choices were legendary.

One of the best of the early Dieselpunk websites was Tome Wilson’s excellent Dieselpunk Forum. I was introduced to Dieselpunk through his forum. Another great site was Nick Ottens’s online magazine Gatehouse Gazette, which published some of my early writings. The website Flying Fortress was also excellent. A great Dieselpunk blog in 2009 was Lord K’s. Later came John Pyka’s fantastic podcast, the Diesel Power Podcast, who I was honored to co-host with for many years.

Those five online sites were pivotal in the development of Dieselpunk. I suspect that without them, Dieselpunk wouldn’t exist today. I like to think that I had a small role in Dieselpunk, as well.

Dieselpunk's influence can be seen in so much. That influence goes beyond gaming but can be seen in movies and television. Recent movies such as Nightmare Alley and television shows such as Lovecraft Country are good examples.

However, Dieselpunk as a genre never grew. It never achieved the popularity of Steampunk. Early hopes of Dieselpunk conventions or Dieselpunk organizations never appeared. A Dieselpunk community never seemed to form.

Over time, I’ve found myself pulled to other projects. Later this year, I will have a book on philosophy/ spirituality published. I’m also starting a new business along with writing another book. Plus, I have a life and obligations with family and friends.

Therefore, the time has come for me to move on. This entry is my last on this blog.

Don’t despair. Dieselpunk isn't dead. There are still good resources for Dieselpunk. The torchbearer today is Tony Snipes. His work on Portsmouth Aeroshipbuilding Co. and other Dieselpunk projects is extraordinary. And while the Gatehouse Gazette is no longer around, Nick Ottens is still generating excellent Dieselpunk material with his website Never Was Lounge. Also, while dated, the Dieselpunk Encyclopedia, which I co-created with Lord K, will continue. I also plan to continue posting every week to my Facebook page Dieselpunks After Dark.

I want to thank all of my loyal readers. I especially want to thank those who have inspired and supported my blog over the years.

Peace be with you all.


Sunday, February 13, 2022

Reign of Death

In recognition of Black History Month here in the US, I thought I would re-post the fantastic dieselpunk short video Reign of Death. It stars Doctor Who's Noel Clarke and is directed by Matt Savage.


Saturday, January 29, 2022

Julio Tello and the Paracas Skulls

In the 1920s, archeologist Julio Tello was a leading scholar on ancient Peru. In 1928 while scouting the Paracas region of Peru, he made an outstanding discovery. Tello found hundreds of cone-shaped skulls. 


Julio Tello

The Paracas skulls have been the subject of speculation ever since. Some of the most absurd is that these are skulls of aliens or some unknown human species. All of which are proven to be false. While the actual nature of the skulls is fascinating, it’s much more mundane.

The shape of the skulls results from a practice called head binding or cranial deformation. Several indigenous cultures worldwide have bound the heads of children, causing the normal growth of the skull to be altered during the first few years before the bones are naturally fused into place.

In an article at, Melissa S. Murphy, an anthropology professor at the University of Wyoming who specializes in the analysis of human remains from Peru, explained, “Prehispanic peoples on the south coast of Peru and elsewhere in Peru have engaged in this practice for thousands of years.” According to Murphy, “Deliberate head shaping is a form of cultural modification of the body that marks different things, like one’s identity, a rite of passage, (or) an occupation.”

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Nightmare Alley

A great way to start 2022 is with fresh dieselpunk.

Nightmare Alley has been described as an “American neo-noir psychological thriller film” and is based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham. It’s directed by the great Guillermo del Toro, who co-wrote the screenplay with Kim Morgan. It stars Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn.

According to the studio website,


When charismatic but down-on-his-luck Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) endears himself to clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and her has-been mentalist husband Pete (David Strathairn) at a traveling carnival, he crafts a golden ticket to success, using this newly acquired knowledge to grift the wealthy elite of 1940s New York society. With the virtuous Molly (Rooney Mara) loyally by his side, Stanton plots to con a dangerous tycoon (Richard Jenkins) with the aid of a mysterious psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who might be his most formidable opponent yet.

Nightmare Alley was released only in the theaters on December 12, 2021.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Years 2022!

 I would like to wish all of my readers a happy, safe, and prosperous 2022. 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Happy Holidays!

 I would like to wish all of my readers a happy and safe holiday season. 

 Santa Claus by J.C. Leyendecker

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker

“You always look so cool. You resemble the advertisement of the man . . . you know, the advertisement of the man.” Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby

We all know the art of J.C. Leyendecker. He’s best known as the creator of the Arrow Collar Man in the shirt advertisements as well as the covers of the Saturday Evening Post. Leyendecker’s art captured the zeitgeist of the Roaring Twenties. However, few of us know the man J.C. Leyendecker and his relationship with the Arrow Collar model Charles Beach. 



Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker is a new documentary by Ryan White. According to the official website,

J.C. Leyendecker was one of the most prominent artists of his time, but his story is largely forgotten. Forced to keep his sexuality a secret, his coded imagery spoke directly to the gay community and laid the foundation for LGBTQ representation in advertising today.

Winner of the Best Documentary Short award at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker is beautiful, and well-made. It mixes gorgeous animation with photography and rare film with a moving soundtrack and informative narration.    

I highly recommend this documentary. Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker is currently showing on the streaming service Paramount +.